Mi Adventura Muy Extraña

Buenos Aires Travel Blog

 › entry 4 of 4 › view all entries

       So I’m usually a light packer. I don’t like to take a lot of things because I don’t like to carry around so much weight. Consequently, I decided it was a good idea to ship home my souvenirs that I bought along with some other items that I brought to Buenos Aires that I was not using anymore. Other students had the same idea and decided to ship things home as well. Consequently, I asked one of them for the address of a FedEx store in Buenos Aires. She wrote down the address and then left. Thus, I was left to fend for myself. I hailed a cab and got in with my 4 very big bags. I went to the location that she gave me, but there was no FedEx building. I walked up and down 4 blocks wandering and looking for the FedEx building. Finally, I admitted defeat and walked into a locutorio that had a sign for “correo argentino.” I went in and told the man that I had to ship all four bags to the United States. He looked at me and scowled. He told me that this establishment was to send small packages as well as letters domestically, not internationally. I asked him where I should go and he told me that I had to go to the International Post Office in Retiro. Accordingly, I got in yet another cab and managed my way to the International Post Office. When I got there, I was yelled at for wearing Boca juniors colors. I looked down and realized that my blue and yellow Georgia Tech shirt was in deed in the colors of the Boca Juniors Soccer Team. I sheepishly smiled and apologized to the obvious River Plate fans in the post office. I told them that I needed to mail all of my packages to the United States and that I wanted them specially packaged and insured. The man, Eduardo was his name, cocked an eyebrow at me and then proceeded to profusely laugh. “You Americans!” he shouted. “You are so paranoid about everything. Don’t worry your gifts will get to your mama.” He placed all of my items in a big box, wrapped them thoroughly in tape, covered them in a white cloth, sewed the cloth to the box with yellow tweed, wrapped white yarn around the package, and then embalmed it with a seal. When he was done, he looked up at me and said “it’s secure, yes?” I just stupidly looked at him and nodded. Then I told him that I wanted insurance on my package and Eduardo shook his head and said that the Argentine National Post Office does not provide insurance to the United States. I started to panic. Again, Eduardo looked at me and said in a boisterous voice “No worries chica, it will get there. Do not be paranoid. Think good thoughts.” I nodded and got in line to weigh my box and pay for my shipping. I went to the number dispenser and grabbed a ticket. I was number 21 and the post office was servicing number 16. I thought to myself “it can’t take too long. It’s only 5 people.” But boy was I wrong! I forgot that today was the start of the World Cup Games, therefore I really should have known better. There was a tv in the back and the workers each took turns going in the back and watching the games. Consequently there was only 2 people working to service over 20 people waiting in the room. Accordingly, everything moved SO slow. I waited in line for 4 hours to send my package home.

 As I stood in line, I had flashbacks to waiting in line at the DMV when I was trying to get my license at age 16. I remember that it was a hot May summer day and that I waited 9 hours to get my license. Now keep in mind that I had gotten to the DMV at 5:30 AM to get my license and I was only one of 12 people that was able to get their license. I almost felt as if I was camping out for rock concert tickets. There were people who brought coolers, lawn chairs, books, lap tops, etc. I remember one girl was even sun bathing as she waited outside in line.

So this got me thinking… maybe all government buildings and services are slow. It’s almost an unwritten rule. Every government service that I have enlisted services from has made me wait. It’s almost as if their testing my patience and seeing just how badly I want whatever I’m looking for whether it’s my driver’s license, social security card, new checkbooks or my desire to send a package home. I found myself getting irritated and angry that I had to wait in line for such a long time and that the post office workers were taking time off to watch a soccer game. I had a million things to do on my last day in Buenos Aires and I definitely was not happy that I was spending the majority of it at the post office. But then like divine intervention, I looked over at Eduardo who was dancing and singing while sewing up another package. Then I started to look around and saw the happy faces of everyone in the post office, even the customers who were waiting an obnoxious amount of time like myself. They were all into the game as well and were eagerly watching on the TV that the workers had brought out from the back. I sighed, shrugged and then joined Eduardo in dancing to the beginning of the 2006 World Cup Games.


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